Advanced level eventer Kim Keppick says her barn has been forced to jump indoors lately due to the “crazy hard” ground in Virginia, but a little creativity as gone a long way toward keeping her students actively honing skills they’ll draw from on cross country later.
In these videos Liz Billings is riding Wendy Bebie’s Calero, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Calatox Rancune) who has competed through Preliminary and Kim describes as “a jumping and grid machine — No matter what I set he is like, ‘I got it.’ … Horse and rider are almost always on the same page, but when not fifth leg training for many years always kicks in.”
Emphasis on “no matter what I set” … which can include furniture at times, apparently! Below, Kim has the pair schooling some unorthodox grids that develop and demand accuracy, straightness and honesty. Watch, and feel inspired to put your old living room furnishings to good use!
“There are unlimited options for what to set as grids, just make sure you know how to set the distances and never overface a young horse,” Kim says. “Some have been ruined by moving too fast. Always finish when they think it is easy — do not up the difficulty on the same day.’
Kim Keppick is a BHS II Certified Instructor, Pony Club A graduate, represented Ireland in International competition all before age 19 when she came to America to work for Karen O’Connor. Kim was with Karen for close to 10 years riding and competing horses in her training and was longlisted for the Irish Olympic Team in 1988 with Morning Glo. Kim has since built a thriving career teaching “riders how to train their own horses” with students who have won USDF Gold Medals and competed with success through all the levels – Intro to Grand Prix. She is also the founder of Rein-Aid.